How To Practice Firing Slingshots

If you are into hunting, you know how important it is to have an accurate shot. To be able to shoot accurately requires a lot of patience and practice. One of the best ways to improve your accuracy when you use a bow or a crossbow is to use a slingshot.

Slingshots are an excellent piece of equipment as it allows you to get your form right. Once your form is correct, your shots will be much more accurate when you hunt using a bow. Slingshots are also highly versatile because they can be used to hunt and protect yourself if danger arises. They are generally lightweight and require minimal maintenance, making them a perfect tool to sharpen your accuracy.

What is a slingshot?

A slingshot is a hand-held projectile propeller that is essentially a miniature ballista weapon. It is most often a piece of wood or plastic that diverges at one end into the shape of a Y. One or more elastic bands are attached to the ends with a pocket in the center to hold the projectile. 

The user holds the handle in one hand and uses the other (dominant, usually) hand to pull back the projectile inside the pocket, aim, and release. Slingshots are used in many parts of the world as hunting weapons, though they were known in the mid-1800s as a tool of vandalism (a stereotype that lasted into the mid-1900s, as evidenced in advertisements and cartoons of the time).

Along with stones, steel spheres, and other small objects, some slingshots can also be used with arrows, ranging from a small bolt to a full-sized arrow. A high-powered slingshot is a great choice for manual hunting in an off-grid home.

How Effective Is a Slingshot?

A man shooting a slingshot towards the mountains.

To gauge the effectiveness of a slingshot, there are two factors that you should be aware of. The first factor is correct calibration. If you correctly calibrate your slingshot and choose the right ammo, you can easily kill a human being if you aim right. The second factor is accuracy. The more accurate you are with your shot, the more deadly your slingshot will be. Accuracy has the most effect on effectiveness. 

No matter how expensive your slingshot is, it won’t be useful if you cannot hit your target accurately. When hunting, animals are killed by tissue damage, and when using weapons, such as a crossbow or a slingshot, delivering the most tissue damage is the goal. It is also essential that you hit a vulnerable area for immediate death.

A slingshot is also highly effective when you are in a survival scenario. Due to its ability to kill small animals and predators, you can easily use a slingshot to get yourself out of trouble. However, you must have accuracy and the right ammo to do so.

The small size of slingshots makes them not only easy to conceal but also to store. You can easily keep it alongside your other hunting gear for when you need it for self-defense. Additionally, they are excellent weapons for stealth attacks when you need to attack without alerting the target.

Types of Slingshots

A wood slingshot on the ground.

If you are searching for a slingshot to purchase, you will find a large variety available on the market. You can find inexpensive ones to modern ones. If you are a beginner, It is best to start off with a slingshot that has a simple design. Here are the various types you can find on the market.


These slingshots resemble the letter Y and have a tube or a rubberband attached to either side of the forks. There is often a pocket in between these forks that holds your ammo. These slingshots are primarily available in wood, metal, and plastic.

Wrist Rocket

Wrist rockets, also called wrist support slingshots, allow you to achieve much more power and precision than regular slingshots. These usually have a harness that sits on your wrist. Surgical tubing is often used in such slingshots because it is much more powerful than standard rubber or flat bands. 

Hunting Tips

A man ready to shoot a slingshot in a forest.

A slingshot used in hunting causes blunt force tissue damage on the target. As it does not cause piercing trauma like other hunting weapons, a headshot is the only reliable shot you can make to kill. Suppose you shoot a slingshot at the body of smaller animals like rabbits or squirrels. In that case, they will most likely have internal tissue damage but have the strength to run away. This would be inhumane as the animal would suffer a lot and probably die of the damage caused later on.

To avoid causing animals such trauma, headshots are the only ethical way to hunt using a slingshot. When hunting using a slingshot, ensure that you have no noisy items in your pockets. If your keys or coins jangle, they can alert animals of your presence, and they will likely run away before you get the chance to hunt them down. Additionally, you should practice being accurate to avoid misfiring your ammo. You must also learn to spot a game trail, as most animals have predictable routines. 

When hunting using a slingshot, you should also consider the ammo you use. Although rocks can be used, they are not the most efficient. Many professionals recommend using steel balls. These are much denser, due to which they hit really hard. You can also use lead balls, which are not as environmentally friendly or reusable. If you choose to steel balls, ensure that they have a thickness of around seven-sixteenths and one and a half inches. 

Since slingshots are harder to master, you should use them for close-range hunting. Before you fire your ammo, ensure you are around 30 feet away from them. If you have the right kind of ammo, this distance will be enough to kill your prey. 

How To Shoot a Slingshot

A fisherman ready to shoot the slingshot.

Slingshots have many different advantages. They are small in size, deadly if you use the correct ammunition, and incredibly versatile. You can use a slingshot for hunting, to practice accuracy, and even as a self-defense weapon. To reap all these benefits, it is imperative that you know how to shoot a slingshot. Although the mechanism of a slingshot seems straightforward, to be able to use it properly, you must learn the basics. Here is a step-by-step process of how to use your slingshot. 

Gather Everything You Need

The first thing to start shooting your slingshot is gathering everything you need. Doing so saves a lot of time and prevents you from getting distracted from having ample equipment with you. The two main things you need are ammunition and a slingshot. Professionals recommend using small dense objects for ammo. 

You can choose small rocks, glass balls, fishing sinkers, and marbles. Ball bearings and marbles are considered the best since you can purchase them in striking colors. This makes it a lot easier to trace and evaluate your shots. 

Ammunition Loading

Once you have gathered all your material, loading the ammo is next. To do so, hold the bottom of the slingshot using your right or left hand. Use whichever is your dominant hand. Then use your opposite hand to place your ammo in the slingshot’s pouch. Ensure that the ammo is in the center. 

One thing to take note of us is that your ammo does not swing away. If it does, it will mess with precision and accuracy. Use your fingers to hold the ammo in place. At this point, your thumb and the strap should be in a parallel position. Most professionals use their index finger and thumb as it allows the most grip.

Hold the Slingshot Properly

The easiest way to aim accurately is to hold the slingshot properly. It is essential that you’re always in a comfortable position. Always use your principal arm, as it helps produce a better and more accurate shot. Utilize your secondary arm to pull back the ammo. 

This posture helps give the principal arm ample strength to hold the slingshot in a steady position while you release and let the ammo fly. Ensure that you grip your slingshot flat or perpendicularly. You can do so by holding up the weapon and raising your arm. 

You may also want to point the slingshot forks upwards, while some like to angle it slightly along the side. You should test each position and go with what feels the most natural. 

Have the Right Stance

The way you stand is extremely important when using a weapon of any kind. You should always be comfortable and confident with your aim. The best position is to place your right foot forward and draw back the left one; your left foot should also point slightly outwards. 

This stance is perfect for right-handed shorts. If you are left-handed, you can do the opposite. You can create a solid foundation and maintain a shoulder-width stance with this stance. If you do not have the correct stance, you may not be able to shoot as accurately.

Place the Slingshot Sideways

When shooting, the shoulder of your principal arm must be in front of the target. To achieve this position, you should raise the slingshot perpendicularly and ensure it is marginally slanted away from your body. At this position, you have ample space to free up your arm and yank back the arm. 

Having plenty of space behind you is vital so you can pull back the band as much as it will allow. The more you pull the band, the higher its speed and power will be. This can help you make a killing shot.

Breathing Is Important at This Point

Once you are in position, it is essential that you are calm and steady. Many professionals suggest that you should take a deep breath to stabilize yourself. When you take a deep breath, you reduce the possibility of bodily movement. That way, you can shoot and aim accurately.

Getting Ready To Fire

This is the most crucial part of shooting a slingshot. Once you are in position and steady, take your time to aim at the target. If you are a beginner, it will most likely take you some time, but there is no need to rush. Your head should be positioned so that you can check your target and stay away from the firing range of your ammunition.

According to experts, the best way is to use your dominant eye only so you can close the second eye if you are finding it hard to concentrate. You can also keep both eyes open if you want. 

Fire the Shot

Once you have your slingshot aimed at your target, all you need to do is shoot. To do so, you must ensure that the band is completely stretched. If you are unsure, see if all the triangles are clearly visible. These include the band and the prongs of the slingshot. 

Then, you need to flick your wrist forward. This will shoot your ammo and strike the target. It is vital that your thumb is away from the projectile when you do so. If it is not, the ammunition may hit it, leaving you with a painful injury. It can also mess with your aim and lead the ammunition astray.

Slingshot Mistakes To Avoid

A wooden slingshot with rocks on a table. 

When using your slingshot, there are some practices that you should avoid if you want your shots to be accurate and deadly. One of the biggest mistakes people make is having their prongs and bands misaligned. If your bands or prongs are misaligned, you may twist your hand, which can throw off the alignment of the slingshot band, and you will end up not hitting your target. 

If you shoot in this manner, the prongs of your slingshot can also get broken by the projectile. In such cases, the bands can snap, and the projectile can fly in a direction it was not supposed to. This is extremely dangerous as it can hit someone else and cause serious injuries. 

Additionally, some shooters also forget to set an anchor point. This pouch is where the pouch touches your face. A good shooter always has the same anchor point whenever they shoot a slingshot. 

Pros and Cons of Slingshots

Slingshots are versatile tools, but there are some pros and cons of using them that you should consider.

Pros Cons
They are cheap, and you can make them yourself. You need a lot of practice to be able to use them effectively.
They are legal to use in most areas. They are not effective enough to replace other hunting weapons like bows and guns.
You can use them for hunting rabbits, quails, squirrels, and small birds.
Anything can be used as ammunition.


A handheld catapult device like a slingshot is an excellent hunting tool that a person of any age and gender can use. Since it is a versatile tool, you can use it to practice your aim, hunt, and even as a self-defense weapon. Although a slingshot seems easy to use, it takes practice to gain accuracy. Once you can use it correctly, you can hit targets that are further away and even make deadly shots.